1. Green Bay Packers (9-0)
What can you say at this point about the Green Bay Packers without sounding like a broken record? They are easily the best offensive team in the NFL, hands down, but are they the greatest team ever to grace a football field? No. They have weaknesses, ones that I think will be exploited in the playoffs.
2. San Francisco 49ers (8-1)
The 49ers win over the New York Giants was as impressive a win as they have had all season. It showcased another side of their offense as their running game was non existent for the most part. They aren't the most flashy of teams but they have a toughness on both sides of the ball that is going to be hard to stop once the playoffs arrive.
3.Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)
The mark of a good veteran team is the ability to rebound from a tough loss and go on the road and get a needed win. The Steelers displayed this with a nice win over the upstart Cincinnati Bengals. Now, with the bye, they will be given some much needed time to rest before they hit the stretch run.
4. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
The Ravens are one of the toughest teams in the NFL, but they are also one of the most inconsistent as well. It seems like whenever the Ravens do something good, like sweeping the Steelers, they follow it up with a bad loss. Last week loss to the Seahawks was inexcusable and it makes you wonder about the mental toughness of a team many think is the best in the AFC.
5. Chicago Bears (6-3)
The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Chicago Bears are a prime example of this. After a slow 2-3 start, the Bears have rattled off 4 consecutive wins to get back into the playoff picture. They have done this by going back to the basics; playing stout defense while running the ball into the ground. By doing this, the pressure is taken off of Jay Cutler and he is responding by playing more efficient ball.
6. Houston Texans (7-3)
Wow, did this team ever get gut punched by the loss of Matt Schaub. On there way to a potential first seed in the AFC, the loss of Schaub will more than likely take them out of that chase. They should still win the AFC South however.
7. New York Giants (6-3)
The Giants played a really good game against the 49ers last Sunday and came up just a little short in pulling off the upset. If they can get a little healthier and a little more consistent, they could be a major threat come playoff time.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)
I watched the Bengals-Steelers game this past Sunday and I came away really impressed by Cincy rookie QB Andy Dalton. The former TCU signal caller looked poised under pressure and almost led the Bengals to a huge win over the Steelers. With him under center, I expect it won't take these Bengals long to become true threats in the AFC North.
9. New England Patriots (6-3)
Come on, like the Patriots were going to be out of the power 10 for long. No, an impressive win over rival New York Jets put the Patriots right back in the driver seat for the AFC East. It's still going to take a lot of hard work and luck to get them to the SuperBowl but if any team can pull it off, it's the Patriots.
10. New Orleans Saints (7-3)
The Saints earned the win over the Falcons and the tenth spot on my list for a defensive stand in over time. They not only stopped Atlanta from getting a fourth and 1 but they owned the line of scrimmage, pushing back the Falcons line yards back in stopping Michael Turner. If they can translate that toughness into each week, the Saints would be unstoppable.